On Sunday morning, Oct. 22, Rev. Femi Joshua, whom my wife Ann & I met in 2011, & Rev. Osasona Emmanuel picked me up for a 2 day visit to Makutu-Isanlu, the town that was my home for the first six years of my life. Ann & I had spent a Monday afternoon in Makutu-Isanlu in 2011, but this 2 day visit was for a more in-depth view of the town, and particularly of the Rev. Thamer Nursery/Primary School. (Rev. Femi Joshua was the Secretary of the Isanlu DCC in 2011, but is now a Professor at the ECWA Oyi Seminary. Rev. Osasona Emmanuel is now the Secretary of the Isanlu DCC.)
My arrival in Isanlu began with a welcoming group lining both sides of the road some distance out of town. With a brief stop at the ECWA offices of the Isanlu District Church Council, we proceeded to the Rev. Craig Memorial Chapel on a hill overlooking the town for a brief welcome. Pictures show me sitting on a rock at the Chapel at ages 3 & 79. A short walk from the Chapel brought us to the ruins of the Mission House I lived in.
Moving on, we arrived at the 1st ECWA Makutu-Isanlu Church. I was escorted into the church and seated at the front in company with Chief Harry M. Osha, who said he remembered me, he being 3 years older than I. After being measured for a new Nigerian outfit, I enjoyed the service full of lively music with choirs & dancing. (The green Nigerian outfit above was purchased from a Nigerian friend years ago.) A short sermon basically informed me of the many needs for revitalization of the Rev. Thamer Nursery/Primary School. In the afternoon, I viewed the ruins of the first school that I remember being built.
Monday morning, began with a visit to a proposed building site for a Secondary School. Then I had another warm welcome by the students and staff as we entered the grounds of the Rev. Thamer Nursery/Primary School. The Chairman of the ECWA Isanlu DCC again read a short welcoming speech outlining the needs of the school. Then the Head Boy of the School read a prepared welcoming speech to me. The tour of the school revealed the need for repairs and updating of the buildings. I did see that 4 laptop computers Ann & I donated in 2011 were still in use. That afternoon, I had a closer look at the old school and the present Medical Clinic. After supper, I had a meeting with the board of the Rev. Thamer Nursery/Primary School to learn what plans they had in place to renew the school and cover the back-pay owed to the staff.
In the afternoon, I was taken to visit HRM Oba A. A. Ikuborije, the Agbana (high chief) of Isanlu Land (seated and dressed in crimson beside me). Many other local chiefs and officials were present and I was introduced to them all. Isanlu is a large territory about 20 miles X 20 miles, much like a county with many different towns that are all labeled with the “Isanlu” extension, just like Makutu-Isanlu.
All in all, the Makutu-Isanlu visit was icing on the cake of being part of the ECWA Egbe Hospital Revitalization Team for October, 2017. Again let me say it, if I can do it at 79 years of age, so can many of you readers out there. Listen! Maybe this is the Lord’s call to you. May you be blest in His service!
Read “Egbe, Kogi State Nigeria, Revisited” for a summary of my trip to Egbe.